Iraq crude pipeline hit by blast

11 February 2010

Production at Dora refinery cut

Armed gunmen have destroyed a section of the crude oil pipeline which runs from oil fields in the Kirkuk province to Baghdad, according to Associated Press reports.

There were no injuries in the explosion, which occurred on Tuesday night, in the town of Rashidiya, north of the capital.

The pipeline carries around 50,000 barrels a day (b/d) of crude oil. It has been targeted several times since the US-led invasion of Iraq.

Baghdad’s Dora refinery saw its production capacity cut to 70,000 b/d as a reult of the attack from 100,000 b/d, according to Assem Jihad, a spokesman for the Oil Ministry.

Jihad said technical crews were currently repairing the pipeline but it was unclear when it would be operational again.

Iraq’s Oil Minister, Hussain al-Shahristani told Reuters the pipeline had been idle for years, but was recently reactivated to increase output at the Dora refinery which will evenutally be doubled to 140,000 b/d.

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